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10 Best Birthday Cakes in New York City (Local’s Discuss)

Best Birthday Cakes in New York City

Are you looking for the best birthday cakes in New York City? You’re in the right place. I’ve celebrated 10 birthdays in NYC (not to mention the numerous birthday parties I’ve attended) and have had my fair share of great birthday cakes in NYC. I thought it’d be helpful to draft a list of my favorite spots (from the 30+ I’ve tried over the years). Let’s dive right in!

Best Birthday Cakes in New York City

(Table of Contents)

Martha's Country Bakery NYC

Martha’s Country Bakery

Celebrated for offering a delectable range of special occasion cakes and baked goods, Martha’s Country Bakery dates back to 1969. Specializing in cakes that blend American and European baking methods, expect to find a wide variety to choose from (there’s more than 16 cakes in their daily rotation).

But that’s not all, when you include the cheesecakes and other baked goods, you’ll looking at more than 150 confections to choose from. If you’re overwhelmed by the options, the most popular cake on the menu is the Very Berry Napoleon (layers of flaky pastry, cream, and fresh berries).

So whether you’re after a custom birthday cake or want to stick with the classics, Martha’s Country Bakery should fit the bill. These birthday cakes are some of the best in NYC. They’re consistently good and always get complimented to the extreme.

Website: Martha’s Country Bakery & Locations

best birthday cakes in New York City


Ovenly is an award-winning bakery in Brooklyn that focuses on a small, curated cake menu (offering 5 varieties at a time) rather than offering dozens of flavors. Focusing on quality over quantity, these cakes are exciting and memorable.

As much as I love the seasonal offerings (currently a vanilla cake with lemon curd and lavender buttercream), I’m a huge fan of the cake that put this bakery on the map — the iconic Brooklyn Blackout cake.

This rich chocolate cake is filled with chocolate pudding and topped with chocolate cake crumbs. Unlike traditional chocolate cakes, Ovenly’s version is a rich black color. It’s the perfect birthday cake for those that LOVE chocolate on chocolate, highly recommend!

Local’s Tip: If you’re looking for the most unique birthday cakes in NYC, I recommend the Pistachio Cardamon Cake with Honey Buttercream (made with gluten free ingredients), which tastes as good as it sounds.

Website: Ovenly & Locations

best NYC bakeries for cake

Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery

Mah-Ze-Dahr was opened in 2014 by Umber Ahmad, a banker-turned-baker who left the lofty confines of the financial world to purse her dream of baking. Turns out it was the right move, because she went on to open one of the best bakeries in NYC and became a semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award (a huge deal in the culinary world).

The chocolate cake, aptly called The Devil in Ganache, is one of my favorites in the city (I requested for my last two birthdays). And the carrot cake? Some of the best in NYC!

Website & Locations: Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery

Ladybird Bakery

Ask any local about the best birthday cakes in New York City and Ladybird Bakery will (inevitably) show up somewhere near the top. These beautifully decorated cakes check all the boxes — moist, flavorful, airy and memorable.

Unlike a lot of bakeries in NYC, Ladybird Bakery is more interested in baking the best cakes in NYC than becoming an instagram sensation. These cakes aren’t flashy and there’s a strong focus on classic flavors (like chocolate, vanilla, red velvet) over outlandish colors and over-the-top flavors.

Website: Ladybird Bakery
Address: 1112 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
What to order: The Brooklyn Blackout (best in NYC and the Red Velvet.

best New York City birthday cakes

Two Little Red Hens (Currently Closed)

Two Little Red Hens is currently closed while they settle into their new location on the Upper East Side (UES). Locals are patiently waiting for the re-opening (the bakery’s been closed for 2 years) and know it’s worth the wait. They make some of the most delicious birthday cakes in NYC. I’ve had the Brooklyn Blackout Cake, Carrot Cake, and Red Velvet — the Red Velvet truly steals the show. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Two Little Red Hens makes the best red velvet cake in New York City.

Website: Two Little Red Hens

Amy’s Bread

Known for old fashioned layered cakes and delectable baked goods, Amy’s Bread is a staple for locals. There’s a decent variety to choose from — Yellow Cake with Pink Frosting, the rich Black and White Cake, and the unique Coconut Cream Cake, each baked with the intention of evoking childhood memories.

The chocolate cake at Amy’s Bread really sets itself apart form the competition. It’s rich, moist and perfectly airy, topped with a “chocolate silk.” But honestly, you won’t be disappointed regardless of what you order here.

Website & Locations: Amy’s Bread

Chocolate Cake Magnolia Bakery NYC best chocolate cake NYC

Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery is one of the most popular bakeries in New York City, largely thanks to Sex and the City. Best known for delicious cupcakes that span the gamut, I actually prefer the birthday cakes a bit more. You’ll have your pick of perfected classics, like Devil’s Food Cake, German Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake and Red Velvet. Whatever you do, don’t leave without picking up a banana pudding on your way out.

Website: Magnolia Bakery & Locations

best birthday cakes NYC
Image courtesy Lady M

Lady M

Lady M has become an international sensation thanks to its delicate layered crepe cakes (crepes between layers of light pastry cream). I can’t help but wonder how we’ve lived so long without this invention! This bakery also offers several interesting flavors, like matcha, if you’re looking for unique birthday cakes in NYC, this will fit the bill.

Website: Lady M & Locations

Milk Bar

It’s impossible to name a more popular place to get birthday cakes in New York City than Milk Bar. The place was billed an overnight success because of the cereal-milk soft serve and Milk Bar Pie, better known as “crack cake.”

Another item on their menu that has folks lining up is Milk Bar’s iconic Birthday Cake (available in vanilla and chocolate). Inspired by the boxed vanilla funfetti cakes many of us grew up with, this is the adult version of a core childhood memory. It might be helpful to know that Milk Bar offers national shipping, so you can have this cake delivered to anyone anywhere in the US, but honestly, nothing tops getting it fresh from the bakery.

Website: Milk Bar & Locations
Good to know: Milk Bar offers a gluten free version of this popular NYC birthday cake.

Billy’s Bakery

Billy’s Bakery holds a special place in my heart because it’s my neighborhood bakery. Most Sunday mornings start with a quick stop at Billy’s for a sweet treat before heading into Central Park. There’s a plethora of cake flavors to choose from, but my personal favorite is a tie between the banana cake and coconut cake. However, the most famous cake at Billy’s is the icebox cake (Fresh dairy whipped cream layered between homemade chocolate wafer cookies).

Website: Billy’s Bakery & Locations

Best Vegan & Gluten Free Birthday Cake NYC: Erin McKenna’s Bakery

We have a handful of friends that are gluten-free, as such, we’ve spent our fair share of time searching for the best gluten-free birthday cakes in NYC as well. After many slices, I can confidently say that nothing tops Erin McKenna’s Bakery. This Lower East Side bakery is a must-know for anyone with food allergies. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and kosher yet churn out a mean birthday cake.

Website: Erin McKenna’s Bakery
Address: 248 Broome St, New York, NY
Featured in: 10 Satisfying Gluten-Free Bakeries in New York City (Celiac’s Guide)

List of the Best Birthday Cakes in NYC

  1. Milk Bar
  2. Ladybird
  3. City Cakes
  4. Martha’s Country Bakery
  5. Mah-Ze-Dahr
  6. Ovenly
  7. Two Little Red Hens
  8. Amy’s Bread
  9. Magnolia
  10. Lady M
  11. Billy’s Bakery
  12. Erin McKenna’s Bakery

Map of New York City Birthday Cake Shops

Love NYC desserts? Us too

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12 Iconic New York City Desserts (Worth the Wait)
10 Can’t Miss Cannolis in New York City (To Satisfy a Craving)
12 TASTY Brooklyn Bakeries You’re Not Going to Want to Miss!
10+ Tantalizing Cheesecakes in New York City (& One Spot to Avoid)
15+ Best Doughnuts in New York City (Worth the Calories)

Hope you enjoyed the sweet treats, folks!



Monday 11th of April 2022

I can't believe you'd make this list and leave off the best bakery in NYC. Betty Bakery blows the rest of these places out of the water. Their carrot cake alone is worth the trip!

New York Simply

Monday 11th of April 2022

Thanks for the suggestion Lou, adding it to our list to check out!

Allana. Borrelli

Sunday 10th of April 2022

Carlos bakery. ....Hoboken ...the. Best cake. &. Pie!!